Joe Neumaier
November 01, 1996 AT 05:00 AM EST

Beautiful Girls

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
112 minutes
performer
Timothy Hutton, Uma Thurman, Matt Dillon, Annabeth Gish, Lauren Holly, Rosie O'Donnell, Natalie Portman, Michael Rapaport, Mira Sorvino
director
Ted Demme
author
Scott Rosenberg
genre
Drama, Comedy

We gave it a C

A buddy flick so sensitive it makes The Big Chill seem frigid, Beautiful Girls is even more treacly on the small screen, where its ”guy talk” and chummy hugs feel forced. New York musician Willie (Hutton) takes flight from his girlfriend and commitment to attend his high school reunion, where the old gang (Matt Dillon, Michael Rapaport) wrestle with dashed hopes. The titular objects of desire include the mistreated women in their lives (Mira Sorvino, Lauren Holly) and a visiting vision of perfection (Thurman). In the one bright spot of director Ted Demme’s otherwise mopey film, Willie initiates a sweet friendship with a much younger beautiful girl, his 13-year-old neighbor, Marty (Natalie Portman, who gives the film’s liveliest performance). In the end, her maturity is miles more interesting than any of the film’s emotionally stunted adults. C

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